View westwards across the rift valley floor in Kenya, with the dark hills of the Mau Escarpment, the rift’s western wall, in the far distance; June 1978.

The eastern side of the African continent is breaking up and the Eastern Rift Valley, which runs through Kenya, is one of the vast fractures along which this fragmentation is occurring. 

The Mau Escarpment, seen in the distance, is the main part of the African continent, which stretches from there westwards right across to the Atlantic coast.

The terrain between the camera and those far away hills is the floor of the rift valley – a vast fracture in this ancient landmass –  and all of this land between the camera and that far range of hills has been created relatively recently by molten rock welling up from within the Earth to fill the fractures in the fragmenting continent – like blood filling and healing a cut in our skin.

When below ground, molten rock is known as magma.  Magma can be erupted out onto the Earth’s surface, when it is called lava – and lava is erupted through volcanoes.  There is an obvious volcano lower left in this scene, quite a small cone, and the undulating ground further away has many more.  The presence of hot springs and steam jets shows that there is still vast amounts of heat not far below the surface of the ground here – the volcanism here is not extinct, it is dormant and it might restart at any time.

OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko at 150mm; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: love those blue hills receding off into the distance.  Wish I was still there, clutching a camera – though sadly realising that, to me at least, it might no longer be the same place that I left those 27 years ago.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. What a raw landscape, captured and processed well. Thanks for sharing, Adrian. Would be interesting to see how much it changed after nearly three decades.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Well, some of the changes I can tell you of. On the plus side, the geothermal steam is now being harnessed for electricity, which is a wonderful resource for any country to have. But on the other side, even before I left 27 years ago, the shortage of good farming land was causing smallholdings to extend out onto the dry rift valley floor, which is really not suitable for growing crops. Everything changes in this world, nothing stands still – for better or for worse! Thanks for your thoughts, Brandon! Adrian


  2. a wow!!! love that blue tone over all!


  3. Meanderer says:

    Beautiful, Adrian. Those layers of blues are wonderful and very relaxing to the eye.


  4. So so beautiful. Don’t mess with Mother Nature. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Great capture, bud. The sky looks angry, but fabulous! XXX ATP XXX


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hell hath no fury like … well, too true, darlin’ … too ******** true!!! … and especially where the freaking out precedes the asking of the rational questions … but wait! …there’s a sudden cold feeling in my throat … damn! … in the emotion of the moment … I’ve swallowed my martini’s cube! 😉

      Glad you like the picture, bud – thank you! And also glad that recent storm didn’t get up to NJ … maybe it had heard about the freaking out first scenario … 🙂 … xxx


  5. paula graham says:

    Stunning shot, so well processed, colour palette just beautiful. I love it.


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